Cantillon makes it two from two in Masters Historic Formula One at Donington
Mike Cantillon bided his time to pressure long-time race leader Mike Hartley into a mistake two laps from the end, as the yesterday’s winner did it again in the second Masters Historic Formula One race at Donington Park. In his Williams FW07C, Cantillon harried Hartley’s pole-sitting McLaren MP4/1 lap after lap – and just as Hartley seemed to have done it again, he ran wide in the Roberts chicane, allowing his rival through for a second F1 win of the weekend.
Behind them, the battle for third was equally entertaining, as Warren Briggs ran third for much of the race, but the Kiwi’s McLaren M29 was usurped right at the end by Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08. Hazell ran fifth early on but only a few laps before had managed to pass Lukas Halusa’s McLaren M23 for fourth, after a race-long fight. Hazell won the post-83 class while Halusa grabbed the pre-78 spoils.
As soon as the field was given the green, Warren Briggs had his foot down as the Kiwi tried to separate Cantillon from second place going into Redgate. The Irishman held on, however, and then powered away in pursuit of Hartley. Briggs then continued to fend off Halusa and Hazell.
On lap 5, Cantillon produced the fastest lap of the race to latch onto the McLaren’s gearbox, the pair having left Briggs behind by some five seconds now. Hartley, however, was having none of that and the ‘Jam Baron’ now clocked the fastest lap himself to get the gap back up to seven tenths. Further back, sadly, Mark Harrison was forced to retire the ex-De Angelis Shadow DN9, his strong qualifying coming to nought.
In third, fourth and fifth, Briggs, Halusa and Hazell were now separated by less than a second, the trio having dropped Ron Maydon’s Lec CRP1 by ten seconds, Ian Simmonds in the Tyrrell 012 by twelve. For a moment, Hazell got up into fourth out of the Roberts chicane but Halusa got the place back as the pair braked into Redgate.
Ten laps gone, the tense fight at the front continued unabated, just six tenths between Hartley in the lead and Cantillon in second, but five laps later, the McLaren’s advantage had grown to nine tenths – hardly enough to give Hartley a breather but he was soaking up the pressure. At the back, meanwhile, Chris Perkins had to retire his Surtees TS16. Now 27 seconds, behind the lead pair, Briggs had Hazell to worry about, the Williams finally having made its way past the pre-78-class-leading McLaren M23 of Lukas Halusa.
With less then four minutes to go, Cantillon had closed up yet again and looked to outbrake the leader into Redgate but the Williams went wide and Hartley was back through on the inside. One minute later, Hazell made a similar move on Briggs and made it stick to take third. Behind them, Maydon was into the pits with a likely brake issue.
Hartley now needed to keep cool for two more laps but then finally cracked, misjudging his braking into the Roberts chicane – and Cantillon was through, as a dejected Hartley let the Williams out of sight by six seconds. Hazell was third, with Halusa on the final lap pipping Briggs as well. Ian Simmonds took sixth ahead of Neil Glover’s Arrows A5.
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